Status of Unresolved Flora Entities at
Leucopogon aff. sprengelioides
Habitat of Cristonia biloba subsp. pubescens
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Tronox Management Pty Ltd
DOCUMENT REVISION AND STATUS
Final Draft Report
This document is prepared in accordance with and subject to an agreement between
Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd (“Woodman Environmental”) and the client for
whom it has been prepared (“Tronox Management Pty Ltd”) and is restricted to those issues
that have been raised by the Client in its engagement of Woodman Environmental and
prepared using the standard of skill and care ordinarily exercised by Environmental
Scientists in the preparation of such Documents.
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other than those agreed by Woodman Environmental and the Client without first obtaining
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damage or injury of any kind whatsoever (whether in negligence or otherwise) that may be
suffered as a consequence of relying on this document for any purpose other than that
agreed with the Client.
DEFINITIONS ....................................................................................................... I
AIM AND OBJECTIVES .................................................................................... 1
STUDY LOCATION ........................................................................................... 2
BACKGROUND ................................................................................................ 3
TAXONOMIC REVIEW ..................................................................................... 3
BACKGROUND ................................................................................................ 4
TAXONOMIC REVIEW ..................................................................................... 4
CONSERVATION STATUS OF CRISTONIA BILOBA SUBSP. PUBESCENS .......... 6
HABITAT OF CRISTONIA BILOBA SUBSP. PUBESCENS .................................... 6
Appendix A: Notes regarding taxonomy and conservation significance of Leucopogon aff.
sprengelioides at Cooljarloo West (Hislop 2016)
Tronox Management Ltd (Tronox) is proposing to extend mining at Cooljarloo, located
approximately 160km north of Perth, into the Cooljarloo West deposits. The proposal is
being assessed under the Environmental Protection Act 1986; Part IV Public Environmental
Review (PER) process. As part of the PER process, several flora entities were identified as
requiring further review and identification of their conservation and taxonomic status.
Woodman Environmental were contracted by Tronox to liaise with the Western Australian
status of these entities
The aim of this project was to determine the taxonomic and conservation status of the
entities Leucopogon aff. sprengelioides, Eucalyptus aff. incrassata and Cristonia biloba
(occurrence at Cooljarloo West), to assist in future survey planning and impact assessment
of the proposal on these entities. The objectives being:
Leucopogon aff. sprengelioides
Approach the WAHerb regarding the location and status of the specimens of
lodgement of these specimens so that they can be viewed by Leucopogon specialist
Mike Hislop, or directly provide existing specimens to him prior to lodgement, so
that an assessment of the preliminary taxonomic and conservation status of this
taxon could be completed;
a conservation listing by the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW); and
Identify if additional field survey for this entity would be required as part of the PER
conduct an assessment of the preliminary taxonomic status of this taxon, and
determine whether this taxon is likely to represent a new undescribed taxon. This
process was to include further liaison with Eucalyptus specialist Malcolm French.
If determined that this taxon is likely to represent an undescribed taxon, request the
pertains to the remaining 3 populations that are known by Eucalyptus specialist
conservation listing by the DPaW; and
to support field survey if required.
The study area is located within the Cooljarloo West Study Area, comprising the flora and
vegetation study area surveyed by Woodman Environmental as part of the baseline studies
for the Cooljarloo West Mineral Sands proposal (Woodman Environmental 2014).
Two collections of a potential new Leucopogon entity were collected at Cooljarloo West in
2008 (Woodman Environmental 2009), with a total of six locations of this entity recorded at
this time. Dr. Mike Hislop (WAHerb) made the tentative identification of the entity as a
potential new taxon, Leucopogon aff. sprengelioides at the time of initial identification of
the specimens; the two collections were subsequently lodged by Woodman Environmental
at the WAHerb.
Other specimens collected within the Cooljarloo West area during the study (Woodman
assumption that both similar entities could potentially occur at Cooljarloo West.
extend from north of Cataby (i.e. in the vicinity of the Study Area) to south of Collie (Hislop
Dr. Mike Hislop examined the WAHerb held material of this potential new taxon during May
2016. All specimens housed at PERTH (WAHerb) of L. sprengelioides collected from north of
Gingin were examined, and for cross-reference a selection of specimens from the Darling
Scarp were also examined. It was found that there was considerable variation in leaf
characters, size of the fruit and floral/inflorescence characteristics (including
presence/absence of ovarian hairs and locule number) across the specimens inspected.
However the pattern of variation was significantly overlapping in nature and not amenable
to partioning and gave no indication of geographical or other morphological correlation.
Dr. Mike Hislop gave the following determination regarding Leucopogon aff. sprengelioides:
‘In summary, the morphological observations made during this study provide
support for the view that L. sprengelioides (at least in the northern half of its range)
should be treated as a single variable species and that the populations growing
north-east of Cataby are best regarded as belonging to a somewhat atypical variant
of the species, rather than a distinct taxon.’ (Hislop 2016).
No conservation significance status has been assigned to this entity. No further work is
Dr. Mike Hislop’s report regarding his review and conclusions is presented as Appendix A
Two collections of the potential new taxon Eucalyptus aff. incrassata were recorded in the
Cooljarloo West Study Area, collected in 2008 and 2014; both specimens were subsequently
submitted to the WAHerb. Eucalyptus incrassata itself is a widespread taxon, occurring
from south of Geraldton extending through the South-West Botanical Province as far as the
Eyre Bird Observatory, and as far north as Kalgoorlie (South-West Interzone), excluding the
majority of the Jarrah Forest Regions. It is also known to occur in south-eastern South
Australia, north-western Victoria and south-western New South Wales (Brooker and Kleinig
Several western subcoastal populations located between Cataby and Eneabba were
Malcolm French (WAHerb) noted that a review of this material against material from the
entire Eucalyptus incrassata group would be required, as the Eucalyptus incrassata group is
quite complex with a large distribution, and may include 2 other potentially undescribed
taxa from south-east W.A.
Initial correspondence from Malcolm French (WAHerb) indicated that the (up to 6) known
western subcoastal populations of E. incrassata may form a separate subspecies due to the
typically narrower leaves, smaller fruits and geographically distinct location (in comparison
to rest of the known distribution of E. incrassata). However, it was also noted that the E.
incrassata group is complex and variable across its distribution and that other populations
to the east and inland are not dissimilar to these western subcoastal populations (M. French
pers. comm. 8
Subsequent to this, M. French undertook a survey and review of the Eucalyptus aff.
various characteristics to three other populations of E. incrassata occurring within 4 – 6km
of the Cooljarloo West area (total of 4 populations examined). M. French recorded
approximately 12 clumps of this entity at the local population at Cooljarloo West, and found
great variability between clumps with regards to size of the mature bud and fruit characters.
Some individuals showed typical characteristics of E. incrassata (including thickish leaves,
strongly beaked, faintly ribbed buds and with cylindrical, faintly ribbed fruits), however
others showed characteristics as per his previous assessment (narrower leaves, smaller
fruits) (M. French pers. comm. 30
M. French also found that within the other 3 populations examined, there was much
variability with the bud and fruit morphology, varying in bud and fruit size (mostly smaller
than typical), the fruits being mostly cylindrical (typical) and faintly ribbed to mostly smooth
(similar to fruits of wheatbelt specimens which are typically smooth/faintly ribbed to ribbed)
(M. French pers. comm. 30
David Coates (Senior Principal Research Scientist) and Dr. John Huisman (Acting W.A.
Herbarium Curator), it has been determined by the WAHerb that in the absence of firm
characters to provide separation, the entity cannot be separated from E. incrassata and
therefore will be referred to furthermore as E. incrassata. It has not been given any
conservation status (Dr. John Huisman, pers. comm, 9
June 2016; 16
Baseline studies for the Cooljarloo West Mineral Sands proposal (Woodman Environmental
2014) identified an historic record of Cristonia biloba at Cooljarloo. Two subspecies of
Cristonia biloba are currently known, C. biloba subsp. biloba and C. biloba subsp. pubescens.
Of the 44 collections lodged in the WAHerb (as at 24
locations near Jurien);
4 represented C. biloba subsp. pubescens (located from east of Cooljarloo West to
Perth to Greenhead, Eneabba and Northhampton).
As a result of investigations by WAHerb, the listed conservation status of Cristonia biloba
also been identified to subspecies level.
The current distribution of C. biloba subsp. pubescens (P2) (DPaW 2016) ranges from
range in the vicinity of Bibby Road (south-west of Badgingarra), south of Muchea and Hill
River. Given these distributions, it is highly likely that the presence of this taxon at
Cooljarloo West would represent C. biloba subsp. pubescens however collection of
additional material to confirm its identity would be necessary.
Habitat of Cristonia biloba subsp. pubescens
The formal published description of C. biloba subsp. pubescens (P2) lists the habitat of this
entity as being ‘brown sandy loam over laterite and grey and white sands over clay, in
Shrubland and heathland’ (Thompson 2010). Specific habitat related to lodged collections
at the WAHerb (DPaW 2016) include:
The lodged collection at the Lesueur National Park was collected on brown loamy
sand over laterite, in heath with species including Daviesia epiphylla, Hakea
conchifolia and Allocasuarina humilis.
white sand (no associated species description).
Lodged collection from Woolamulla Road (between Green Head and Eneabba)
(disturbed soil), in low Shrubland/heath with associated genera including Casuarina,
Woodman Environmental recorded C. biloba at two locations at Cooljarloo West in 2008 (no
located in VT 7, which is described as ‘Low sparse heathland to Low closed heathland
of Alllocasuarina spp., Calothamnus quadrifidus, Calothamnus sanguineus, Hakea
incrassata, Hakea lissocarpha, Hibbertia crassifolia and/or Melaleuca seriata over
Low isolated clumps of Sedge to Mid sparse sedgeland of Mesomelaena
sandy loam to yellow brown clay loam with latertitic surface stones in broad dry
depressions or gently undulating plains’ (Woodman Environmental 2014).
described as ‘Low Isolated Clumps of Trees to Low Open Forest of Banksia attenuata,
Mid Shrubland of Adenanthos cygnorum subsp. cygnorum, Eremaea pauciflora,
over Low Isolated Clumps of Shrubs to Low Shrubland of Bossiaea eriocarpa,
Isolated Clumps of Sedges to Mid Open Sedgeland of Mesomelaena pseudostygia on
white or grey sand on undulating plains and low dunes’ (Woodman Environmental
2014). The vegetation of the specific plot location was Low open Woodland of
As no collections of this entity were taken at either of these locations, the presence of C.
descriptions can be utilised.
Brooker, M. I. H. and Kleinig, D. A. (2001)
Field Guide to Eucalypts. Volume 2: South-western and Southern Australia.
Published in 2001 by Bloomings Books, Melbourne, Australia
Department of Parks and Wildlife (2016)
Hislop, Dr. M. (2016)
Pty Ltd, 2016.
Thompson, Ian R. (2010)
Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd (2009)
(Tiwest08-19-01 Rev 2), prepared for Tiwest Pty Ltd, September 2009.
Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd (2014)
Unpublished report (Tronox12‐37‐01 Rev 0), prepared for Tronox Management Pty
Ltd, January 2014.
Notes on morphological variation in Leucopogon sprengelioides in the northern part of its
Leucopogon sprengelioides Sond. is a widespread species, distributed in the Geraldton Sandplains,
Jarrah Forest and Swan Coastal Plain bioregions, from north of Cataby to south of Collie. It occurs in
a variety of soil types and vegetation communities on the Darling Scarp and Range and less
commonly on the coastal plain. The type specimen of the species is from the Darling Range east of
Perth, probably in the vicinity of the Lakes.
Chapman 2007). This complex group is in need of taxonomic revision and while a start has been
made (Hislop 2014) much work remains to do. A particular problem within the group is the presence
of a number of very variable species, one of these being L. sprengelioides. The most reliable
diagnostic characters so far identified in the alpha taxonomy of Group C are those associated with
the leaves (i.e. shape, orientation, curvature, abaxial surface venation, indumentum), ovary (locule
number, hair presence/absence) and fruit (overall size and shape, apex character, hair length,
orientation and distribution) and to a lesser extent the sepal shape and indumentum. Size
differences in floral parts can also occasionally be informative. However none of these characters
have been found to be consistently useful across the group.
North-west of Cataby, at the northern end of the range of L. sprengelioides, there occurs a variant
that has come to the attention of botanical consultants working in the area, as a potentially distinct
taxon. Preliminary examination of specimens of this morphotype suggested that it differed from
more typical forms of the species (these occurring at least as far north as Cataby) in the following
ways: leaf laminas that are generally straighter (less recurved along the longitudinal axis and with
the tips less inclined to be incurved); leaf abaxial surfaces more deeply grooved than is usual; fruit
apices more sharply angular and broader than is usual.
In order to investigate whether these potential differences might form the morphological basis for
the recognition of a segregate taxon, and whether other more cryptic differences might be present,
all PERTH’s collections of L. sprengelioides from north of Gingin were examined. For comparison, a
range of specimens from the Darling Range east of Perth were also examined.
Leaf characters that often have taxonomic significance in the group (as described above) were found
to vary very considerably in the study area. But the pattern of variation was significantly overlapping
in nature and not amenable to partitioning. A complicating factor in regard to L. sprengelioides, is
that leaf shape, orientation and curvature often varies on individual plants to a greater extent than is
usual in the genus.
The size of the fruit was found to vary considerably across the study area but with no indication of a
geographical or other morphological correlation. Consistent differences in fruit shape would
potentially provide a strong indication of significant divergence. However the putative differences
observed in the angularity of the fruit apex were subtle and overlapping.
found in the following characters: size of the corolla and other floral parts; length, shape and
indumentum of the sepals. However in contrast to most species in the genus there was also
variation in presence/absence of ovarian hairs and locule number, which varied between 3−5. In
most members of Group C the locule number usually varies by one only, that is it is either 3(4) or
(4)5. This variation did not correlate with other differences that might support the recognition of
In summary, the morphological observations made during this study provide support for the view
that L. sprengelioides (at least in the northern half of its range) should be treated as a single variable
species and that the populations growing north-east of Cataby are best regarded as belonging to a
somewhat atypical variant of the species, rather than a distinct taxon.
Morphological synopsis of L. sprengelioides:
obsolete petiole; lamina strongly concave adaxially, usually markedly recurved along the longitudinal
axis, but with the tip usually more or less incurved, often more or less stem-clasping in the lower two
thirds; both surfaces glabrous apart from a few basal hairs on the adaxial surface, abaxial surface
flat, or openly grooved between the veins. Sepals glabrous to shortly hairy, obtuse to acute. Ovary
glabrous or hairy, 3−5-locular. Fruit varying from a little shorter than, to a little longer than the
sepals, shortly cylindrical.
Selection of specimens examined (north of Perth): J.J. Alford 768; P. Armstrong s.n.; E. Bennett & C.
McChesney 05.5; R.J. Cranfield 215; R.J. Cranfield 9922; R. Cumming 12122; J. Dodd 45; J. Dodd 58; R.
Fairman RF 116; A.S. George 6356; E.A. Griffin 4781; E.A. Griffin 4927; E.A. Griffin 4930; E.A. Griffin
5166; E.A. Griffin 5365; E.A. Griffin 5680; M. Hislop 3795; Hislop 4347; Hislop 4348; Hislop 4349;
8043; G.J. Keighery 10033; C. MacPherson LE 19.11; J.M. Powell 1670; R. Spjut & C. Edson 6986; B.
GW OP 4.
Hislop, M. & Chapman, A.R. (2007). Three new and geographically restricted species of Leucopogon
(Ericaceae: Styphelioideae: Styphelieae) from south-west Western Australia. Nuytsia 17: 165–
Styphelieae). Nuytsia 24: 71−93.